Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Final Listing Determinations on Proposal To List 66 Reef-Building Coral Species and To Reclassify Elkhorn and Staghorn Corals
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), are publishing this final rule to implement our final determination to list the following 20 species as threatened: five in the Caribbean (Dendrogyra cylindrus, Orbicella annularis, Orbicella faveolata, Orbicella franksi, and Mycetophyllia ferox); and 15 in the Indo-Pacific (Acropora globiceps, Acropora jacquelineae, Acropora lokani, Acropora pharaonis, Acropora retusa, Acropora rudis, Acropora speciosa, Acropora tenella, Anacropora spinosa, Euphyllia paradivisa, Isopora crateriformis, Montipora australiensis, Pavona diffluens, Porites napopora, and Seriatopora aculeata) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended. The two species currently listed as threatened (Acropora cervicornis and Acropora palmata) in the Caribbean still warrant listing as threatened. We also determined that a total of 43 proposed species do not warrant listing as endangered or threatened species, and three proposed species are not determinable under the ESA. We have reviewed the status of the species and efforts being made to protect the species, and public comments received on the proposed rule, and we have made our determinations based on the best scientific and commercial data available. We also solicit information that may be relevant to the designation of critical habitat for the 20 species newly listed under this final rule.